By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A crushing defeat has ended the Phillies season, well short of the World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals outalsted the Phils 1-0 in last night’s winner-take-all contest.

The entire Phillies season came down to one game Friday night. Win, and they would have advanced to the league championship series on Sunday. Lose, and their season is over.

Before the game, fans at Citizens Bank Park were edgy, but confident at the same time.

If you had to pick anyone on the planet as your starting pitcher for a must-win game like this one — most Phillies fans say they’d start the guy they have, Roy Halladay.

With the Cardinals sending their ace to the mound, Phillies fan Kevin Ryan of Levittown predicted a true pitchers duel, where a break either way could decide the series.

“Anything can happen in Game Five or a Game Seven. Carpenter’s their best pitcher too, and Carpenter’s one of the best in the game. He had a bad game 2. He’s a very good pitcher, so he’s going to come out lights out tonight too.”

For the Phillies, Red October lasted only one week. The Cardinals made a first-inning run stand up, in what for Phillies fans was an exasperating 1-0 loss. The Phils’ bats fell silent again, and with all of the high expectations of this season, fans are left searching for answers.

“It’s absolutely frustrating. They didn’t even look like the same team…”

So it was the Cardinals celebrating on the Phillies home field, while the Phils and their fans will spend the long offseason wondering what could –or should have been.

With the Phillies loss, most people will end up calling it a profound disappointment for the Phillies season that started with such lofty expectations.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio

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